Biodiversity Pulse: Tuesday June 25, 2024

Published 16:45 on June 25, 2024  /  Last updated at 16:45 on June 25, 2024  / Carbon Pulse /  Biodiversity, Newsletters

A twice-weekly summary of our biodiversity news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

Presenting Biodiversity Pulse, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter on the biodiversity market. It’s a twice-weekly summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here

All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

TOP STORY

ANALYSIS: The Nature Restoration Law – what’s next for EU companies?

EU member states could include the private sector in their plans to achieve national targets under the Nature Restoration Law (NRL) as public funding will likely prove insufficient, and the newly approved legislation is likely to contribute to scaling the biodiversity credit market, according to experts.

MARKET

Carbon registry launches biodiversity programme, gears up for listing credits

Iceland-based International Carbon Registry (ICR) announced on Thursday the launch of its pilot biodiversity programme in an effort to develop a framework for project developers planning to issue voluntary biodiversity credits.

Portuguese aquaculture firm eyes biodiversity credit market to scale funding

A Portugal-based aquaculture company is conducting a study to evaluate the ecosystem services provided by its bivalve farm to venture into the biodiversity credit market, as it says investments in the industry are still insufficient.

BUSINESS & FINANCE

Singaporean company secures ‘first-of-its-kind’ TNFD-aligned loan

A Singapore-based real estate company has secured a S$400-million ($295 mln) sustainability-linked loan (SSL), which incorporates targets on biodiversity conservation aligned with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) recommendations.

EBRD urged to improve biodiversity safeguards, rule out offsetting

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should improve its biodiversity standard, as recent changes to its environmental policy are not sufficient to ensure the bank does not finance nature-damaging projects, a campaign group has said.

AXA Climate, tech company launch forestry insurance to protect against increasing natural disasters

France-headquartered climate risk manager AXA Climate and an Irish forestry management software company have teamed up to launch insurance for forestry fires and storms.

POLICY

Australian ministers agree 2030 biodiversity targets, include OECMs in Nature Repair Market

Australian federal and state environment ministers on Friday agreed on an ambition to protect and conserve 30% of land and sea by 2030 and a number of other ambitions that the country will take to the biodiversity COP in Colombia later this year, while also agreeing to include Other Effective land-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) in the Nature Repair Market.

Denmark rolls out major initiatives to cut agricultural carbon emissions, restore nature

The Danish government and leading industry, agriculture, and environmental groups have agreed a major strategy to cut carbon from agriculture and restore nature that includes a tax on livestock emissions, conversion of farmlands to forest, and biochar subsidies.

GEF Council gives green light to $730-mln spending as pressure mounts on GBF Fund to deliver

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council has approved the spending of $736.4 million on hastening efforts to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change, and chemicals and waste pollution, as its CEO urged rich countries to ramp up contributions to the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF).

Australia consults on draft ’30 by 30′ terrestrial roadmap

The Australian government is seeking feedback on a draft roadmap to show how it will reach its goal of restoring and protect 30% Australia’s land by 2030.

PROJECTS

NGOs call for cancelling ‘disastrous’ oil permit in Rep. of Congo’s most biodiverse protected area

Human rights activists in the Republic of Congo (RoC) and other NGOs have called for the revocation of an oil exploration permit in Conkouati-Douli National Park, saying it will gravely threaten the most biodiverse protected area in the country.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

MARKET

Overestimated – A new study has cast doubts on the long-term effectiveness of large-scale tree-planting projects in sequestering CO2, with current climate models potentially overestimating the duration of retention while underestimating the impact of climate change on forests. The paper, authored by European and US-based researchers and published Friday in the journal Science, found that plants are absorbing more CO2 than expected, but the trapped carbon is re-released into the atmosphere much sooner than models have predicted. This underscores a growing realisation among scientists that while nature-based solutions are valuable, they must be part of a broader, more robust strategy against climate change that includes significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. (Carbon Pulse)

BUSINESS & FINANCE

New broom The president of the IUCN, Razan Al Mubarak, has been appointed new co-chair of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), replacing Elizabeth Maruma Mrema. The group earlier this year finalised its long-awaited recommendations for corporate nature reporting, with over 300 companies globally signing up. Al Mubarak and the other co-chair, David Craig, will now focus work on incorporating the framework.

90s fever – Australia’s peak body for the grass-fed cattle industry has released a consultation paper claiming that clearing forests that have grown since 1990 should not be considered deforestation by international supply chains, the Guardian reported. The paper published by Cattle Australia sparked criticism from environmental groups, including Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society, and the Australian Conservation Foundation. Last month, the Australian government asked the EU to delay regulation that would prevent commodities linked to deforestation from being imported into the bloc.

Chipping in – Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and UK-based iNovaland have announced they will allocate R$ 17 mln ($3.1 mln) through the Floresta Viva initiative to restoration projects in the Atlantic Forest. The initiative will fund projects in the municipalities of Alcobaca, Caravelas, Mucuri, Nova Vicosa, Porto Seguro, Prado, Teixeira de Freitas, Vereda, and Itamaraju, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, and Conceicao da Barra, Jaguare, Linhares, Sao Mateus, Pedro Canario, and Sooretama, in the state of Espirito Santo.

POLICY

One more The southern Vietnamese province of Ca Mau has established a 27,000-ha marine protected area, the provincial People’s Committee announced Friday, according to Tuoi Tre News. The MPA will include a 9,000-ha buffer zone, a 3,000-ha no-take zone, an 11,230-ha zone for habitat restoration, and an administrative area of 3,970 ha. The southernmost province elaborated that it wants to protect some major natural ecosystems such as coral reefs in Chuoi and Hang Islands, keep the biodiversity and unique natural beauty of Khoai, Da Bac, and Chuoi Islands intact in order to serve scientific research, education, eco-tourism, adventure tourism, and wellness tourism purposes.

Room for improvement – UNESCO wants Australia to set more ambitious restoration and conservation targets for the Great Barrier Reef, as part of a list of recommendations to retain its status as a world heritage site, the Guardian reported. The report said the Australian government will be asked to submit a progress report by Feb. 2025, after which the committee will consider if it being ‘in danger’. The threat of this status has issued over the reef for years, as rising temperatures cause coral bleaching events. UNESCO added it had ‘high concern’ over the rates of land clearing in catchments that flow into the reef, saying it was ‘incompatible’ with targets to cut sediments and nutrients running into the reef.

Flying low Nigeria’s federal government is eager to boost biodiversity at and near the nation’s airports, and has established a committee to promote wildlife in those areas, according to news outlet Leadership. Iziaq Salako, the environment minister, said it is important for Nigeria to integrate its iconic landscapes into major public spaces.

SCIENCE & TECH

Growing demand – Nature intelligence company NatureMetrics has announced it will expand its operations in Southeast Asia by partnering with a laboratory in Bogor, Indonesia due to the increasing demand for biodiversity monitoring services. By bringing advanced environmental DNA (eDNA) technology to the country, the company aims to provide local companies with new tools to drive sustainable development in the region, as a high number of TNFD early adopters are emerging in the APAC region.

Truly disturbing – Around 75% of river waters in the UK are in poor ecological health due to pollution from water companies and agricultural runoff, according to a monitoring test carried out by volunteers at Earthwatch Europe. The most concerning situation has been reported within the south east and East Anglia regions of England, with 89% of rivers failing to meet tests for good ecological health. According to Sasha Woods, director of science and policy at Earthwatch Europe, the results are ‘truly disturbing’ since no parts of the UK are unaffected by nutrient pollution. (The Guardian)

Bleaching – The Malaysian fisheries department has warned about the condition of coral reefs in the country, which are experiencing significant mass bleaching due to the increasing sea surface temperatures. According to the department, most of the affected reefs are in shallow waters less than 10 metres deep, driving potentially severe implications for marine biodiversity, fisheries, and tourism. Coral reefs are crucial for the national economy since they provide habitat for around a third of marine species. (The Star)

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